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Sports sponsorship in 2017 up by 14%: SportzPower-GroupM report

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MUMBAI: SportzPower, in association with GroupM's sports arm ESP Properties, has released its 2018 report on sports sponsorship in India.

Ground advertising was up from Rs 6400 crore in 2016 to Rs 7300 crore in 2017. Another GroupM report said that Indian advertising expenditure in 2017 was Rs 61,263 crore out of which 12 per cent was contributed by sports. The year also saw sports other than cricket gain traction. India’s second biggest sport by participation and attendance, football, grew by a considerable 64 per cent. India hosted its first ever FIFA U-17 world cup that became the most attended in the history of the event. Attendance for this football world cup was a record 1,347,133, surpassing China's 1985 audience of 1,230,976.

ESP Properties business head Vinit Karnik said, “2017 was truly the ‘big’ year for the business of sports. With PKL emerging as the second-most popular league in India after the Indian Premier League (IPL), and the Indian edition of U-17 football world cup creating history in terms of audience attendance, has given sports sponsorship enjoyed a bull run. As popularity of sports grows in India, sports stars also expand their brand endorsement portfolios. Virat Kohli led brand endorsements with 19 brands and 150+ crore in value, while PV Sindhu leads the non-cricket endorsement space with 11 brands and 30+ crore in value.”

Despite demonetisation and GST hiccoughs, the sports sector has been able to ride the storm with a steady and positive trajectory. All major sporting leagues managed to bring on board sponsors at a 100 per cent or more incremental value for the title sponsorship.  Specifically, the IPL has emerged as one of the top five most valuable global sports properties in the world.

Since last year, Indian Super League (ISL) is a 10 team, 18+ week showcase, up from eight teams and 10 weeks in the last season. ISL sponsorship has grown by 22 per cent from the previous year. The report states that the gap between Pro Kabaddi League and IPL TV ratings is narrowing - PKL delivered 1.5 TVR with 312 million reach and IPL delivered 2.7 TVR with 411 million. 

2017 also saw the birth of five new franchise based leagues – UTT, SBL, SFL, Cue Slam & P1 Power Boating. Brands are interested in emerging sports and 25 per cent increase in franchise fees came from them. Thirty-six new franchises were added across all new and existing leagues.

SportzPower co-founder Thomas Abraham said, “With the 2017 momentum and the economy also looking up and set to grow at 7.3 per cent in 2018-19, sports is looking at an even bigger year. As the industry anticipates clarity on the structure of club football in India, among the new leagues on the horizon, volleyball seems the most promising. In the media firmament, while new revenue benchmarks are expected from television, it will be traction in the digital arena that provides real pointers to where the industry is going over the next few years.”

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